“Adoption isn’t like that anymore.” I sat stunned as I read this response to my recent post about my adoptive parents winning in court against my biological mom.
I’ve seen this type of response in reply to other adoptees and/or first mothers who have described their experience in adoption. In fact, the more outrageous the experience being described, the stronger the feelings of some that adoption has magically changed over the years.
People in general seem to be under the impression that there is an adoption watchdog organization that oversees practices and ensures that ethics are being complied with. In reality, there is no overseer as such. Adoption agencies are supposed to comply with certain laws and regulations but there is no certainty that it is happening.
Typically, it is only when a first mother or father speaks out about ethical violations that an investigation is launched and even then, it is usually to determine if the adoption agency has kept records as required. In addition, if a first mother is a whistleblower on an adoption agency, many times the agency and the general public turn on the mother, not the agency and the mother’s behavior over the last few decades is scrutinized. It almost seems that, in general, people want to find a reason to not believe what the first mother is saying.
Many of us are familiar with Carri Stearns who is in that exact situation right now. As soon as she started speaking out about the illegal and unethical attempted adoption of her son Camden, many decided that the best way to sort it out was shine a spotlight on her. It became her burden of proof rather than the Ohio adoption agency.
Can you imagine explaining to your child that you launched a public attack on his or her biological mom in an attempt to discredit and humiliate her?
It is not only mothers that face unethical and illegal adoptions. It happens all too often with fathers as well. Some states are known to fast track adoptions without regard to fathers who want to parent. Rob Manzanares is a father who has been in a long fight for his daughter, Kaia. He has had to fight against potential adoptive parents in the state of Utah where laws are stacked against fathers and fraud is common in adoptions. (Utah is just one state of many that employ unethical practices.)
Can you imagine explaining to your child that you adopted from a specific state because the laws there were stacked in your favor as an adoptive parent?
What if a parent fights for his child but the adoption is finalized based on a technicality? Some adoptions are finalized simply because a father was unaware of the putative father registry. If you have never heard of it, can you imagine a young father knowing of its existence or how to become registered? Men who do not register are at risk for his child to be adopted without his knowledge or consent. If you are a man, you might be interested to know that. If you are the parent of a male, you might want to inform him of his responsibility to become registered. It is not something he will learn in any sex education class. There are no PSAs about the putative father registry.
Can you imagine explaining to your child that you fought against his father and adopted him or her based on a technicality?
These are current cases and there are many more exactly like them. These parents have not had their children removed for any legitimate reason. They pose no risk to their children. They are simply being treated the same as my natural mom was treated – as a mere obstacle to overcome in an effort to adopt the child.
So in response to the person that felt it was necessary to tell me that “adoption isn’t like that anymore,” no, you’re wrong. Adoption is still “like that”. Not in all cases, but yes, lying, fraud, manipulation and coercion still exist in many cases. I’m no longer a child. I have a voice and it is loud (and annoying to many). And that is the one thing that those who have a hand in these types of adoptions forget – if you set out to turn us into adoptees using any and all unscrupulous means necessary, guess what we become passionate about?
To be continued …